A Look Inside Telstra’s Digital Transformation Through Legal Service Automation

November 3, 2022
August 14, 2023

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With the rapid rise of legal transformation, in-house legal teams are seeing benefits in their day-to-day functions like time efficiency, cost savings and scalability. However, these benefits are rarely optimized when digitization is siloed and delivered for a particular use case.

With several areas of legal work defined by manual and repetitive tasks, identifying multiple use cases for automation is the conerstone to delivering greater value to the business, and perhaps even building the initial business case for adoption. Tackling several automation processes can pave the way for optimized and streamlined processes and a more connected legal department.

To understand how Telstra is adapting its legal organization for the future, CEO and Co-Founder of Checkbox, Evan Wong, sat with Scott Smalley, Innovative Service Delivery Lead at Telstra. Scott shared his insights into creating a culture of innovation within the in-house legal function and building initiatives and capabilities for legal automation.

"One of the biggest use cases we have for Checkbox at Telstra is our legal intake and triage portal… it was really simple and clean and removed tonnes of effort from the legal team."

Building a Culture of Innovation & Finding Initiatives for Legal Automation at Telstra

Even with a small team of lawyers, Telstra was able to build a culture of innovation within their legal departments by collaborating using Checkbox and looking at which processes could be automated to save them time. Their journey to creating that culture started with something as simple as document automation, where Checkbox generates compliant NDAs. The team at Telstra was able to design an NDA tool with a support page that has since removed that line of work from the legal team, allowing them to do more with less. Although NDAs were the preliminary documents that they would automate at Telstra, they quickly realized that any repetitive tasks could be automated to streamline day-to-day work. Using Checkbox's platform, they could build an intake and triage portal that acts as a legal front door as well as automate legal advice and FAQs to enable clients to self-serve their legal inquiries. Currently, Telstra also uses Checkbox to create trial and early-stage agreements, as they can move to completion quickly without the need for a lengthy negotiation process.

Legal service request banner

How Telstra is using Checkbox to Achieve Digital Transformation

Legal service automation at Telstra has been growing, with the team exploring the different functionalities of the Checkbox platform to find the best use cases for automation solutions. Repeatable, manual tasks have been the primary contenders for automation at Telstra and have saved the legal team considerable time in their day-to-day work.

“A number of industry pressures moved us from our old model of lawyers dedicated to specific clients, to a more centralised one – where a broader pool of lawyers could pick up new matters coming through the door. We needed a digital tool to be that door, and Checkbox is a key piece in enabling us to deliver legal services in this new way.”

Document automation, where Telstra began its work on NDAs, enabled its team to expand to other document types and more complex document processes including leveraging review & approval workflows.

Intake and triage, one of the biggest use cases of Checkbox for Telstra, leverages capabilities of service request management and workflow automation. Before implementing Checkbox, the legal team at Telstra had a 1:1 relationship with business users where they had to reach out to their designated lawyer for legal requests. However, they have now shifted to a system where customers can go through a legal front door to automatically find the relevant resource or lawyer for their request.

Payment processes are prime examples of approval workflow automation that are well used by the Telstra legal team. At the beginning of the pandemic when everything was moving so quickly, the Telstra team needed to ensure the right customers were receiving payment relief. In just one afternoon, Scott Smalley was able to build an automated payment relief workflow using Checkbox.

Self-service knowledge is another use case for legal service automation where Telstra has found success. This tool runs like a product exit checklist, which customers can use for decision-making. The legal team was able to experiment with asking the right questions during a product exit checklist and determine the status and the level of prioritization or need for escalation.

"The most important thing in getting started is momentum. You get momentum by biting off small amounts bit by bit and moving on to the next thing."

What is the best way to get started?

Smalley's advice for getting started with legal service automation is to start small. The key to creating successful applications is to not get so overwhelmed with the work that the automation process never begins. One of the easiest functionalities to use on Checkbox is its dynamic form builder, making it the ideal place to start when creating an application.

Change management is going to be an obstacle when implementing automation in an organization. A big part of the success automation is going to be getting people on board initially and communicating what is in it for them. Before launching technology, the details of the process need to be communicated across the organization.  

Dedicating a team to drive automation is also essential to get started in any automation journey. The management team is the main driver behind automation at Telstra as they continuously look for new and innovative ways to automate manual processes. Smalley says that working together in a team at Telstra helps maintain elevated levels of motivation and enthusiasm when problem-solving and tackling new automation projects.  

Next Steps

Access the full webinar recording to hear more about Telstra's digital transformation journey with Checkbox.

Is your team ready for legal automation? Request a demo today, and one of our legal technology consultants can walk you through on how to get started with Checkbox.

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